tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS September 3, 2010 7:30pm-8:00pm PST
from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over two decades, the if. for such a small word it packs a wallop. if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net,
a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife. guarantees for the if in life. issue one, afghanistan exit strategy. >> there is substantial concern about our course in afghanistan. now ten years later, as we all pointed out, we are still there. i think we really have to begin sharpening our pencils as to what our objectives are, because the wealth of this country is not inturnable, nor are the casualties of our forces or the number fof people we have available. and somehow that thought ggoes on without there being some definition of metrics is unacceptable. the question +is, how do we end
>> good question, senator. what's the exit strategy on afghanistan? 1,201 u.s. soldiers ve died in afghanistan over the last nine years. as of july so far in 2010 alone. >> question, does president obama have an exit strategy for afghanistan? pat buchanan? >> he does not. they are moving away from the mid 2011 deadline from the beginning of withdrawal of troops to show we are committed for a longer period of time. john, the problem is, we can't win the war with the forces we have in there. everybody knows it. however, the country is divided. the administration is divided. they don't want to lose this war and have the taliban execute. they don't want to keep bleeding the country either. they have a real problem inin this sense. the liberal ring of the democratic party is moving away
from the administration and there's a small antiwar conservative movement that is growing in the media and on capitol hill. so we are coming to a head in december when they had the december review of afghanistan. >> eleanor. >> i don't think they are working away from the july 2011 to begin exiting and they have a review planned for the end of december. and general patraeus, in the should remember short time he has been over there, they are empowering the neighborhood. they are essentially militias, triable areas and not have them answering generally to the central government. but basically empowering all the local communities, which is what they did in iraq. if they begin to show promise, they will stick with that. if it doesn't show promise, they will be looking for the exit ramp pretty quickly. >> okay, eleanor. the question is not if, but when. >> many on the left and right can agree. they are both saying that the
time to demobilize in afghanistan is now. we've heard from a distinguished republican, here's a distinguished democrat, lanny davis who served as special council to president bill clinton. quote, i believe we may now as of 1975 be approaching a critical mass of american blic opinion that after nine years in afghanistan, there is no apparent mission that can justa sisile additional u.s. life or casualty. >> hold on, eleanor, let me try mark on this. what do you think of davis? >> right, there may be a shift now starting in public opinion, which those two men now represent where americans will back a war as long as we are perceived as winning it. we do have a new general in place, general patraeus, who took a demotion as the u.s. central command to oversee the war in afghanistan and he has changed tactics and strategy.
he changed the rules of engagements, so they aren't as high strung when they confront the enemy. and population centered, trying to protect and win over the population. couple that now, just as he did in iraq, with an enemy centric strategy, which means killing and capturing the enemy, which is politically incorrect, but that's what a war is all about. one reason we are there, two reasons. one, 9/11, we don't want it falling back into the hands of al-qaeda. pakistan is next door. they have 100 nuclear weapons and can't have that country destabilized as well. >> as long as it takes to get the job done? is that the position he evolved into? >> he has been very clear about beginning the withdrawal next july and the question is, as conditions allow. there is a review coming in
december, which will tell us more. >> did rahm emanuel reenforce that? >> i think -- >> i think he said it definitively. >> i believe he was definitive, but they still have caveats here. the real question is, the metric? how do we know victory when we see it? the strategy that was used in iraq, but iraq had a stable core to its central government than afghanistan does. >> lanny davis' quote is important. >> yeah, lanny davis repeats an anecdote that i have heard as well and many people have heard. when they did the woriginal review of afghanistan president. vice president biden asked how much money are we spending in afghanistan? how much money are we spending in pakistan? we are spending billions upon
billions more in afghanistan. pakistan has a nuclear weapons and that's where the real threat is. he says there's something wrong with this picture. and vice president biden has been pressing for a more minimalist approach in afghanistan. he lost out in the review, but i think his views are very much alive. > obama's problem is this, he fired general mccrystal and now he has the most famous general in america in charge of afghanistan. he can't not give patraeus what he wants. if he says general patraeus, we have to move out, and he says i'm not losing this war. so obama has get any help from brojinsky, who is the former national security director? >> the extremely famous and renowned foreign policy. >> and therefore, it's a self-
defeating proposition. >> i agree with him, we can't put -- you can win that with 500,000 guys, we aren't going to put those guys in there. john, i think obama's problem is if he starts pulling these guys out, you risk a blood bath at the end, a taliban victory and people beheaded in cobble. >> you think the american people would swallow that easier than they are the perpetuation of human misery? >> i think they want to come home. >> americans are getting weary and i think michael steele had a point when he said this is obama's war. the strategy has changed. the goals have changed. i mean, we present also -- this taliban is not the same as the old taliban. obama's strategy is different. >> i think obama, when he was campaigning for the senate, he said that this is a war of choice. >> the old war, the iraq war. >> afghanistan, he said the war --
>> now he is nation building. he doesn't want to admit to it, but that's what they are doing. >> you do now have talks between president karzai and the taliban and between the pakistanis and the taliban -- let me finish my thought, please. the u.s. has been cut out of those. i say fine, cut us out. well, look. >> if we withdraw from afghanistan and get another 9/11 scale attack, you'll be right back in there. one of those things that obama -- look, obama is in two political boxes. one as pat points out, he has general patraeus in there and he can't say no to general patraeus. when he was campaigning, he has made iraq the bad war, afghanistan the good war. the question is, how is he going to do it and how is he going to do it effectively? >> exit question. is obama the victim of his own success in the war of
afghanistan from the 2008 campaign? >> just said. that is exactly correct. >> eleanor. >> i think that we needed to put troops in afghanistan. i think president bush squandered several years by misdirecting american attention into iraq and this president is trying to clean up the mess. he is doing it imperfectly, but not going to stay there for ever. >> you cannot have a political reconciliation without changing the balance of security forces on the ground. if the taliban and other radical forces believe they can wait out the american forces, they will certainly do that. if we are in this and fight it to win , you can have some relatively political resolution to this, but not until you go in and you crush them and if you are dealing with radical islamists, there's no negotiation to be had. >> is it a no win situation? >> can he pull -- can he pull, what's his name?
>> karzai out? karzai is already cutting deals. we don't know the full extent of it all, but he sees the handwriting on the wall as well. we have to strengthen militias in some way, but you know, at a certain point, you have to cut. >> i don't think he is hoist by his own facade, you understand the meaning of it? okay, pat has it, we all have it. i don't think he is. i think you can say the circumstances have changed so dramatically. as in our interest now believe and go. and i don't think it's regarded as leaving, you know, his tail between his legs. >> what will patraeus say -- >> patraeus is going to be issue two, race card. >> the tea party as a political philosophy is to reverse what civil rights did and that is saying the federal
government must protect people. >> naacp has agitated the racial waters and now the river of agitation has grown turbulent. the association took aim at the tea party movement. at its annual convention this year, over 2,000 delegates to the naacp unanimously passed a resolution condemning quote, unquote, racist elements within the tea party movement. they pointed to an incident in march where tea party supporters are said to have uttered words racially offensive towards african american members of congress. benjamin stated the association's complaint, we take no issue with the tea party movement. we believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy. we take issue with is the tea party's continued tolerance for
bigotry and statements, unquote. the roy merdock, criticizes the naacp, calling it quote, unquote, delusional. the naacp once was totally justified when it decried the racism and bigotry that the democrat led governments mandated by law. in 2010, however, screaming racism sounds increasingly delusional given that american is governed by a black man who borders comfortably elected in 2008 and wished well across the inauguration day 2009. unquote. >> question, did the naacp play the race card against the tea party movement? clarence? >> a year ago, john, we were asking, can the naacp stay relevant after the election of the first black president? now they are back on page one again, going against the biggest opposition, which is the tea party movement.
call that the race card, so be it, but it's a common view in the black community when they watch tea party demonstrations, when they see some of the people involved, like the council of conservative citizens and other folks like that who in the past have had racial agendas. then you can see the naacp is coming from. i don't blame you, these tea party folks, unfamiliar with black history, who thinks this is a race card. >> you think the naacp is something like the appendix like the organ? >> they are doing a lot, but they don't get the white media until they attack the white people. everyone talks about one, which is the tea party. >> this resolution called on the tea party. it didn't call the tea party racist. after the resolution came out, mark williams, who is a tea party leader and who is said
some disgusting things about the president, they did wipe him away from their mist. i don't know how you do that in a movement, exactly. >> exactly. >> let me get in on this. >> and i also think mr. jealous felt like he was pushed back by the established media and by the conservative media, which is why he over reacted when that tape came out about shirley sherod and he repudiated. turned out to be totally wrong. >> we better get pat in here, he is gagging. >> look. here's the thing. the thing is, the naacp is irrelevant. you have 15% unemployment. 50% of kids aren't even graduating high school. they are dropping out. what do they do? they attack the tea party to get the news. you are cowards about it. that's not starting a conversation. it's a steer to get on the
front page. it's a smear by an irrelevant organization. >> do you defend mr. williams? >> i defend the tea party. there are racists in the naacp and i'm sure there are similar -- >> monica. >> thank you, clarence, my hero. look, the tea party has an issue with the content of obama's policies, not the color of his skin and i find it amazing that the naacp would waste its time on nonexistent racism in the tea party, where there are so many problems, like black on black violence, like education and drugs and guns in the inner cities. so it seems to me to be a straw man that the naacp set up because they are less willing to confront all of those problems in the black community. >> exit question. >> they are confronting them, but they don't get the publicity. but believe me, they are dealing with obama. >> what they are doing on all those other issues. > clearly don't listen to it.
>> exit question. on a race relation damage scale 0 to 10. 0 meaning zero damage, how much harm has the naacp allegation does to raise relations? pat buchanan. >> i don't think it's impopoant, but the damage is a 2 or a 3. >> the naacp is not hurting race relations. we have a very active faction on the right using racial issues as a wedge to try to defeat democrats and a black president and i think that is where -- >> oh boy. >> say that's not true? >> i'm soying that you are making our point that when the left goes out there and stokes these kind of racial issues when they don't exist, it dilutes real racism and that's the danger. >> yes. >> please, i get my chance. >> go ahead. >> i was just going to say, these are kind of -- the naacp
is as important to the democratic party as the tea party is to the base of the republican party and so the two meet, racism is not a problem anymore, that's exactly the kind of thing -- >> that's not what i said. i said nonexistent racism in the tea party. i didn't say nonexistent. >> excuse me. excuse me. [ inaudible ] >> they would say no way. >> let's be clear about the point. my point was when we start slapping on the racist label, we end up diluting real racism. >> president obama said he was introducing a post racial america. do you think this action by the naacp -- >> who said that? >> in his speech on race. >> he didn't say this is a post racial america, the media said that. >> you mean he didn't stand for a post racial america? >> no, he only talked about
race when he had to, and that was after -- >> he gave a 35 speech on race, remember that? >> i think he said it. >> do they stand for a post racial america? the answer is yes. the naacp torpedo it, yes or no? >> inaudible ] >> americans view barack obama as the embody of racial progress. he doesn't have to say it. >> stick to your guns, you are absolutely right. for no reason at all. >> is it cataclysmic damage? >> on a series of things, it is sergeant crowly does obama, -- >> when a political party stops using race as a wedge, not because that party is
racist issue three, divided we stand. >> there are some folks who want to go back, who think that we should return to the policies that help to lead to this recession. some of them made the political calculation that it's better to obstruct than to lend a hand. >> as midterm elections loom and republicans and democrats battle for supremacy, is something going by the waste side? what is happening to good fellowship? is reaching across the aisle a thing of the past? is president obama himself more of a divider than a uniter? the election of david cameron may offer us something, namely, coalition government. a government contingent on the cooperation of all major parties when political elements fuse together to form a working
majority. with the approval ratings of the house and the senate at a dismal 16%, is it time that the u.s. go back to the drawing board? it wouldn't be the first time. during the civil war, lincoln ran at the top of the unity party. alongside democrat, andrew johnson. during times of war and hardship, coalition governments have formed in countries like germany, japan, israel, switzerland. do we need a coalition government american style? or are we going to sit back and watch the bad blood between the parties grow worse? >> question, will voters demand coalition government this november by delivering the house and senate to the republicans? yes or no? pat. >> what about abraham lincoln? >> the tennessee johnson is vice president for a month, he got completely bombed at the inaugural and lincoln was mad at the guy. >> coalition government doesn't work? >> he got him m out wof tennessee.
>> you know what the elements are. >> here's the thing. john, you missed the point. this is not coalition government we are going to get in november. it's a tremendous drive for divided government to make sure republicans have a check on the power of the democratic party, which dominated this city. >> what if we had a conservative party and a democratic party, where the democrats behave like democrats and the republicans behave like republicans. just two parties. >> we had that in eisenhower's era. that's the last time we had a unity government with ike and two democrats controlling both houses. >> but sam raburn working with ike. >> is it a good idea in theory or bad idea for the following reasons. when you have republicans who are conservative republicans, liberal republicans, and middle of the road republicans, that's good. because if you have the other kind, all conservative, all democrat, that would be bad. all republicans, all democrats, all conservative, all liberals, then that would break the vision. >> i get the point.
the 1950s were a great unified era. now we are ideologized and they are at each other's throat. >> the democrats were clearly in the majority and the republicans had a lot of moderates and they were happy to get along. i think the last moment that we had where there was a sense of unity was immediately after 9/11 and i think president bush squandered it, because he then used the leadership boost he got out of that by pushing far right policies. >> wait a minute, what are americans fed up with now? are they fed up with one party rule? >> yes. but i also think more over, they are fed up with far left governance, because i think when you look at poll numbers across the board, independents, not just conservative. independents are hemorrhaging. >> do you think the american
people believe that divided government is the way to go? >> well, fundamental principal, we send to be that way. >> we tend to have an electorate. they are going to be voting republican, that's because the democrats are in power. americans like to swing back and forth. >> it's reaction vote. >> it is among democrats who are disappointed that obama hasn't been able to deliver more. he's had a successful legislative agenda, but the impact of the bills do not filter down from months, if not years, and the republicans -- it's a power grade. >> talking about yellow dog democrats. they go for anybody. if you put a yellow dog up there, they would vote for him. >> obama won with 53% of the electorate. he got a lot more than yell predictions, pat. >> because of the heat we all
had on the set about that last issue, this november, which is going to happen, republican party is going to get a high percentage of the white vote and a diminished percentage of hispanic votes because of the immigration issue and of course they can't go any lower than the african american community. >> eleanor. >> pat's dream, i think. the democrats really try to encourage charlie rangel to resign and leave the scene gracefully as opposed to go through a trial by his peers because of ethics violation. charlie rangel has a long and storied career. he is pretty stubborn. it would be a good idea for his party if he took the advice. >> would it all go away then? >> nothing ever goes away. [ laughter ] >> nothing ever goes away. >> once he is out of congress, he would not be pursued. >> he would not be? >> i think it is clear what he
aught to do. he is 80 years old. >> well, the european union is now considering additional and tougher sanctions on iran targeting their oil and gas sectors as well as shipping and finance and if they go ahead with this additional set of sanctions, that will put more pressure on the obama administration to take aggressive action, too. >> five seconds. >> john, the new black panther party case that is causing things on the right, they will come out with the findings in september and you will hear more about the minute man cases of where minute men at six different polling places intimidated hispanic voters and that was also dropped by the bush administration and the obama administration did not pick it up. >> quickly, proof will emerge in some of the nuclear powers. don't forget to join us on twitter and facebook. bye bye. #